• Title: To the Wedding
  • Author: John Berger
  • ISBN: 9780679767770
  • Page: 366
  • Format: Paperback
  • To the Wedding A blind Greek peddler tells the story of the wedding between a fellow peddler and his bride in a remarkable series of vivid and telling vignettes As the book cinematically moves from one character s p
    A blind Greek peddler tells the story of the wedding between a fellow peddler and his bride in a remarkable series of vivid and telling vignettes As the book cinematically moves from one character s perspective to another, events and characters move toward the convergence of the wedding and a haunting dance of love and death.

    One Reply to “To the Wedding”

    1. It's 1995 and Ninon will die. The beautiful young woman who's just started her sexually active life has contracted HIV, then still a medical mystery. But the man who loves her, Gino, marries her and cares for her. Though she tries to free him of what she sees as the burden, the tragedy of herself, he won't hear of it. The marriage feast is ecstatic, gloriously happy. The writing, its interplay of a dozen or so voices, reminds me at times of William Faulkner's, As I Lay Dying. A lean and shatteri [...]

    2. I have great admiration for John Berger. A Renaissance man I consider him to be a member of my imaginary family. Reading his books has been and remains a formative experience for me. And a constant source of inspiration and pleasureThis novel is a pilgrimage, a ceremony and a choreography. It culminates into a wedding dance where love defies death, life defies death Like a Szymborska poem

    3. QUESTIONE DI SGUARDILa scrittura di Berger mi ha subito avvolto, familiare, ma senza privarmi di stupore.Questa volta mi ha sollevato e trasportato in un viaggio alla fonte del mito e del tempo. Un viaggio fatto di nomi epici scelti con cura. Di geografie dello spazio e della mente sapientemente intrecciate. Sono entrato in appartamenti fatti apposta per lunghe chiacchierate e ho conosciuto gente che non avrà mai il futuro per cui altri hanno sacrificato tutto il passato. Ho attraversato spiagg [...]

    4. Check , one friend has read it, none have written about it.True he’s won the Booker, which could explain it. But on the other hand, surely one has a heart for his subsequent actions? Upon discovering that the Booker is a prize generated from slave money, he gave half of it to the Black Panthers. The other half was, I believe, earmarked for a project for farm labour in Europe. If all Booker prizer winners are guilty of sharing in the spoils of slavery, surely he comes off best of them.Is it for [...]

    5. To the Wedding is a small book that addresses the large issues of love, divorce, disease, separation and ideology common to late twentieth century life, in tenderly observant prose. John Berger, author of G, Pig Earth and many other novels, understands small kindnesses, great compassion and the joys of a shared life, not only between lovers but amongst a community. A blind Greek storyteller relates a new tale he's heard about the wedding of a young girl, Ninon, and her beloved Gino, whose passio [...]

    6. POV shifts, time shifts, first person to third person in conversations. I lived in Seattle from 1980-1995, a quite enjoyable time when Seattle was still rich in creativity and yet understated. So there were Rainier beer commercials that were just out there, a thrill to watch but often not able to comprehend. Many suggested that the writers sequestered, lit a joint, and then wrote the commercial. THAT is what this book felt like. Only those commercials were much MUCH better

    7. Kitabın ilk 30 sayfası çok zor. Anlatan karakter paragraf boyutunda değişiyor; kim nerede , şimdi kim konuşuyor her şey birbirine karışıyor.Ardından konu ve coğrafyalar tek bir yöne doğru birleşip akmaya başlıyor. Anne-Baba kızına, ilişkiler aşka, yaşam ölüme ve Po Nehri Akdeniz'e kavuşuyor.Berger yine küçük ayrıntıları büyütüyor, büyük olaylarla küçük şeylerin bağlantısını kuruyor.Okumanızla ilgili tek tavsiyem bir oturuşta bitirecek şekilde okuma [...]

    8. A sublime, moving and tender novel about love, life, hope, consolation and the soon foreseen death of the bride due to AIDS. The main storyline of this small novel tells the story of the two parents of the bride - estranged for many years - travelling "To the Wedding"; the novel finishes at the wedding celebration.One small example of the many jewels in this novel:The mother of the bride meets a co-passenger in a bus. The co-passenger says that the bridegroom has never learned to count. The moth [...]

    9. Mind-blowingly GREAT: 6 stars or 7! Can't believe it took so long to find it, since I know Ways of Seeing (genius). On to the other essays, grateful!!!

    10. I have read Berger as a source for my art History degree and found his writing insightful and thought provoking but he does need work to get to the gist of his criticsm. I've never read his fiction.The rhythm of this book is a bit difficult to start with. Other readers have found it hard to get into. I would recommend reading this in as short a space of time as possible. This helps to keep the rhythms and stories fresh in your mind so you don't have to work to pick up the thread again.So having [...]

    11. "With music, hope too enters the body."This is a quick read about a wedding, told from various perspectives, and as it unfolds you realize that events are not as happy as a wedding would typically be. I wasn't really into it, with the quick snippets of thought and changing narration, until Zdena connects with a man on the bus, and suddenly it became this touching connected story. "Life depends on it none of us can stop. You pick up something here, you take something there, you wake up with an id [...]

    12. Another review called this book "lyrical fiction" and I think that's appropriate because it contains many beautiful descriptions and analogies. Unfortunately, it jumps around between storylines, characters and times quickly and without warning. Because of that, it's the kind of book I would have put down because I don't like stories that are so dis-jointed. (I stuck with it only because I have the audio version and I need something to pass time on my commute to work.) In the end, I realized that [...]

    13. I couldn't resist this book when I saw that Michael Ondaatje had written the following endorsement for it: "A great, sad, tender lyric, a novel that is a vortex of community and compassion that somehow overcomes fate and death. Wherever I lie in the world, I know I will have this book with me." The book is indeed special and at times stunning, but it was hard for me to get past Berger's style. To me it seemed a bit too mannered, too deliberate.

    14. Such a special book. It's hard to have your heart in the right place as a storyteller, to love people and hate what we do to the world and to each other. Berger deftly maneuvers to create this perfect melancholic space to hold the kind of joy he wants to summon. It's a rite of renewal in the form of a book. Sometimes Berger misses with his novels, maybe even most of the time, but when he hits he hits.

    15. I am in awe. Some people will think this novel melodramatic, or even operatic; I don't. It is perfect. I had read Berger's nonfiction but never this novel. I will never forget the scene, near the end, when Jean, the signalman and Ninon's father, goes into the store to buy his daughter perfume. I thought I had finished the book, all broken inside myself, when I turned the page and learned that all royalties went to the Harlem United Community AIDS Center. Pieces shattered further.

    16. John Berger's fiction is sometimes a bit too mannered for me, too deliberately artistic. To the Wedding comes perilously close to that edge but I read it in one long sitting and by the end (to employ an apt cliché) it took my breath away. I was stunned by its beauty.

    17. This was one of the worst reads I've had in a long time. It was slow, difficult to tell who was narrating, and did not provide you enough insight into any of the main characters for you to care about then, and then it got super depressing. Ick.

    18. If I tell you this book revolves around the wedding of a woman who has AIDS. If I invite you to imagine her. Do you think about the woman or the virus?Do you give her hopes, dreams, and aspirations? Do you ask when and where and why she wants to be married? Do you ask how she plans to style her hair? Do you ask how she will dance? Or do you inquire as to how she contracted the virus. Do you ask how long she has known. Do you ask how long she has left. Do you wonder about who she has told. This b [...]

    19. i need to read it again, or at least sit with it a little before committing to a rating and review, but i can definitely say i loved it. it's also an incredibly emotionally weighty book for me. i remember the day i found out john berger wrote fiction as well as theory—this book specifically was recommended by a friend of mine who'd also been a friend of his, and i waited so long to read it that when i finally started i swallowed it whole in less than 24 hours. every word felt so special—the [...]

    20. A stunningly beautiful meditation on love and death told in multiple voices, like a choir. The sensual details are intoxicating, as is Berger's tenderness and hope for us frail humans, even in the face of a terrible, unchangeable fate.

    21. Reading John Berger always feels like a rare privilege.‘To the wedding’ is not a straight story chronologically told, but an almost impressionistic, wrenching tale of two young lovers. Ninon has captured HIV and wants Gino to leave her. But while she is wrestling with the death she carries, Gino persists and persuades her to marry him knowing they might perhaps just count on two or three years. ‘We are going to live the years with craziness and cunning and care. All three. The three Cs. Ma [...]

    22. To the Wedding is a fictional romance set in Europe. Things have been going fine for Ninon and she's just met Gino, a man with whom she starts a romantic relationship. Everything is beautiful and her future seems endless until she discovers that she has contracted HIV from a previous one-night stand. Ninon wants Gino to leave her, until he decides to marry her anyway. So begins the journey to the wedding.I have to say, this book has it's flaws.At first I thought that the pace of this book was ex [...]

    23. I first encountered John Berger when a poetry professor assigned "Ways of Seeing." "To the Wedding" similarly is a novella that relies heavily on the powers of imagery and perspective; indeed, the story is first narrated by a blind merchant. I read another review of "To the Wedding" that describes the story as cinematic, and I'd agree with that - I don't know enough about movie directors to draw an apt comparison, but I hope it will be sufficient to say that it could be a movie shown at IFC. The [...]

    24. 'Listening night after night to rembetika is like being tattooed.'His writing style was hard for me to get into for a while and I almost put the book down 30% in. It turned out to be a rare case where I'm happy I followed through.The book is charmingly timeless. I didn't know much about Berger and for a while I thought it was written in the first half of the century because of its experimental and unorthodox tone - multiple narrators, stream-of-consciousness-esque monologues, disregard for synta [...]

    25. Beautifully written and like nothing else I've read before, 'To The Wedding' still, unfortunately, failed to connect with me emotionally. Whilst I found it an accessible enough read, the strange narrative style - no punctuation to indicate speech, jumping between storyteller and subjects - meant that I had to work too hard to keep track of the plot to invest in the characters. I'm afraid I didn't 'get' why the tale was told by an old blind peddlar, who had nothing whatsoever to do with the peopl [...]

    26. SPOILER ALERT*** I've had this book on my shelf for several years and finally got around to reading it. The setting is Europe at the turn of this century and the main event happens in Italy. I had a hard time getting into the book but, I hung in there, and it did get better as it progressed. I wasn't sure which character's narrative I was reading at times because it jumped around so much. It isn't a 'light' read because it's such a sad story about a young lady with AIDS who is determined not to [...]

    27. A beautifully written tale, melancholic, non-linear tale of a young girl discovering she has AIDS, her resistance to marrying her lover, her parents' grief as they travel across Europe to her wedding and the fragility of human relationships. The narrative structure is interesting, told through the 'eyes' of a blind Greek market trader, and the reader never really knows whether what they are being told is real or a figment of the Greek's imagination.Either way, Berger weaves a moving story full o [...]

    28. Berger's writing style reminds me a lot of that of Michael Ondaatje, who incidentally writes a little recommendation for this book on the back cover. Just so beautifully poetic, and I feel as if he captures that European rhythm so well, I feel as if this was translated from another language. And it was so oddly timeless too, I kept forgetting that this was supposed to be in a modern-day setting. My favourite part of the book were the bits where you got to see Ninon's character, and I almost wish [...]

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